Children’s Book Review Roundup

Looking for children's books? Crystal at the Downtown Chandler Library shares some highlights for different age levels.

I Am a Baby by Bob Shea (Picture Book)
Bob Shea is the hilarious illustrator and author of the Dinosaur vs series and Unicorn thinks He’s Pretty Great. I Am a Baby will appeal to everyone. Babies and toddlers will like the short, repetitious sentences and simple pictures of familiar things like puppies and kitties. Older children will laugh as the naughty infant knocks their food on the floor: “the puppy is chubby because I am a baby.” And some of the jokes are just for parents, who will empathize with the mom who just wants a glass of wine at the end of the day.

Geraldine Pu and Her Lunchbox, Too! by Maggie P. Chang (Early Reader)
Geraldine loves lunch! Her lunchbox is cute and her Amah (Grandma in Taiwanese) fills it with delicious foods like curry and bao. Her classmate Nico is afraid of new things though and makes fun of her lunch. At first, Geraldine is self-conscious, but by having an open mind and standing up to bullying, she makes a new friend and proves that new things can be fun. This series is another new fun thing to try. With a positive message, a great sense of humor, and even a recipe to make bao at the end, it is perfect for 2nd-grade readers.

Thirst by Varsha Bajaj (Chapter Book)
The water restrictions in Minni’s Mumbai neighborhood are an issue that touches every moment of waking life. The water only runs from a shared tap three hours a day and tensions in the community are rising, even leading to fights. Minni is full of hopes and dreams, for herself, her brother Sanjay, and her friends, and she imagines a future where water is available for everyone. Looking at her home through her eyes you see colorful houses, a brilliant Arabian Sea, and people full of compassion and love. But when Minni and her friends encounter a group of men siphoning water from one of the expensive water tanks bought by the community, her family is put in danger. Ultimately, Minni must decide whether she should avoid trouble or fight for her dreams and the dreams of others. Highly recommended for 5th- to 6th-grade readers.

The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza by Mac Barnett (Kids’ Graphic Novel)
This graphic novel begins with the very serious subject of the moon being steadily eaten by space rats, which it handles with the solemnity that deserves. A hero is needed! And that hero is… the first cat in space! With their much more talkative sidekick, a runaway robot created by a mad scientist to clip toenails, the cat journeys to the moon to stop the rat king. This goofy, lighthearted adventure is great for 3rd- to 7th-grade readers.

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